Editorial : Swift response to COVID-19 infections in SHSs appropriate

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Government’s quick response to contain the novel coronavirus from spreading further among final-year students in SHSs is commendable.

A total of 684 contacts who got close to some eight persons who tested positive for COVID-19 at the Accra Girls Senior High School have been identified by health officials.

Dr. Yaw Adutwum, Deputy Minister of Education, made this known yesterday at a press briefing following reports of some students in Accra Girls SHS contracting the deadly virus. He allayed the fears of parents who had purportedly stormed the school’s premises, saying the situation has been put under control.

The news comes as the country’s COVID-19 case count continues to rise, recording “about 400” new cases a day.

Patrick Kuma Aboagye, Director-General of the Ghana Health Service (GHS), also assuaged growing fears when he disclosed at the press conference that measures are underway to track suspected cases of COVID-19 in some Senior High Schools.

The schools in question are Wesley Grammar SHS, Mfanstipim School, Prang SHS and Odorgonno SHS, among others. Additionally, government deployed 200 personnel including individuals from the Ghana Education (GES) Service and the GHS to monitor the COVID-19 situation in various Senior High Schools, after six students and a teacher of the Accra Girls SHS tested positive for the virus.

This move is in the right direction, since parents and guardians are on tenterhooks following news that some SHSs have been infected by COVID-19. So, many attempted withdrawing their wards from Accra Girls SHS when the information first broke.

In the midst of all the anxiety, our concern is the students’ mental frame of mind – since learning under such circumstances will be quite difficult. That is why the dispatch with which the GES and GHS moved in to quell the situation is commendable.

Dr. Adutwum used the occasion to impress on parents and guardians that taking your child away at this point is not a very good option. This Paper is worried that other educational institutions are also reporting infections among the student body, and this must be contained quickly before the situation gets out of hand.

It is also a relief that counsellors have been brought on board to help boost the morale of students so teaching and learning can go on. They need the right frame of mind to study and write their exams.

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